UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Ending on a Low Note? Whatevs

For the third time this season, the Beacons played a one-run game with traditional LEC powerhouse Eastern Connecticut. But unlike the first time, when Nick Conway pitched against the Warriors on April 6, the Beacons came out on the losing end of their first LEC playoff game, falling in heartbreaking fashion, 6-5.

Conway, in perhaps his final start in his illustrious Beacons career, allowed 5 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings pitched. He entered the contest with a 2.59 ERA, but never seemed to find his groove. In the April 6 game, Conway threw a 4-hit complete game, allowing only two runs.

The game had all the makings of a classic boxing story, as the underdog Beacons punched first in the top of the second inning when Mike Dorval doubled home Tim Fontaine and later scored on a Casey Rice sacrifice fly. The Warriors answered immediately in the bottom half of the inning when right fielder Andrew Smiley hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 2.

Undeterred, the Beacons struck again in the top of the fifth inning. Rice and Ryan Oshima singled before Tom Michael was hit with an errant pitch. With the bases loaded, sophomore Drew Tambling just missed a grand slam, settling for a sacrifice fly to center. Ryan Walsh followed with an RBI single, giving the Beacons a 4-2 advantage.

“I thought, ‘I just hit a grand slam!'” Tambling said. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the last time that the former rock star just missed a game-changing home run.

Once again, the Warriors counterpunched with another two-run homer, this time by center fielder Ismael Bolorin in the bottom of the sixth. Eastern Connecticut took the lead later in the inning on an error, a mistake that would prove costly in the long run.

The Beacons had one final comeback left in their bats, as Tambling came through in the clutch again with a two-out, two-strike double off the centerfield wall, scoring Rice, who finished the game 2-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.

“I thought that ball was gone,” Tambling said. The left fielder just missed a go-ahead home run for the second time in his first playoff career, finishing the game with two RBI’s. If he had a couple of more feet of distance in either at-bat, he would have finished with 6 RBI’s and the Beacons would have likely been victorious.

The Warriors sealed the contest in the bottom of the eighth as a leadoff walk came around to score. The Beacons tried to answer in the ninth, but Warrior closer Chris Wojick slammed the door shut on the final comeback attempt.